Small businesses can face many unique challenges, such as finding and keeping customers, running a business with limited time, capabilities, & employees, balancing costs & revenues, or trying to keep up with larger competitors for market share.
eBusiness can be a potential solution to many of these problems. For a small business, it can enable you to find new customers by competing in a worldwide marketplace, improve relationships with your existing customers, save time and costs, and gain a competitive advantage with the assistance of technology. Some examples are provided below.
Finding and Keeping Customers
A website can be used as a source of information about your business that is available from anywhere at anytime, making yourself visible in an environment where your audience is active and searching for businesses like yours. You can improve your relationships with customers with tools such as social media, personalized marketing, and affordable customer service tools. With online marketing, you can specifically target your advertising to be placed where your audience is most active and attract more local customers or take advantage of the worldwide reach of the Internet and take your business global.
Running A Small Business With Limited Time, Capabilities, and Employees
eBusiness technologies can improve the speed and efficiency of your business, and make you more productive by automating processes, reducing paper-trails, speeding up repetitive tasks, and removing redundancies, while allowing you to track effectiveness all along the way.
If you are lacking expertise, or don’t have time to manage certain aspects of your business, you can outsource to service providers that will, for example, manage IT concerns, marketing, or payroll through the Internet, allowing you to just focus on your core activities.
Balancing Costs and Revenues
eBusiness offers new opportunities to make money by selling your products online to a worldwide audience with eCommerce, or through selling advertising space on a website. Costs, on the other hand, can be reduced by purchasing raw materials and supplies online, electronically processing transactions or implementing technology solutions to make your business’ back-end activities more efficient and cost effective.
eBusiness removes many barriers that make it difficult for small businesses to keep up with larger competitors. Location is no longer a limitation, as eBusiness allows your business to be globally visible. Online marketing tools have few barriers and much lower costs than offline marketing, allowing for better chances of exposure. eBusiness offers affordable, innovative, and creative tools that can give you a competitive advantage, such as compelling multimedia, or interactive social media. And, the Internet can also be used as a valuable information resource that can make your business smarter and more prepared to act and react to changes in the marketplace.